Zestful Blog Post #244
All of my New Year’s resolutions have to do with writing, publishing, and teaching, and all of them are basically “achieve more.” Oh, and plus “somehow make a million dollars.”
We are all the main character of our own lives. But let’s first talk about writing fiction. Part of what makes a character compelling is how they respond/react to change. Here are some ways to spark a character to change:
- Give the outside world some agency. A layoff, an award, a subpoena, a snowstorm, a tantrum in the cafeteria, a market correction, a fortune cookie.
- Give the body itself some agency. An infected tooth or toe, a false positive, a false negative, baldness, wrinkles, an inexplicable rush of lust or passion at first sight, new muscles from exercise, flab from too much beer, a forgotten wallet.
- Create internal motivators. Realizations and resolutions occur when a character pauses to consider and decide—and possibly challenge beliefs and assumptions. Any of these things could involve years or seconds.
o I just found a syringe with blood in it under my daughter’s bed.
o I’ve let laziness creep into my life.
o Hey, that guy just grabbed that woman’s purse!
o I wonder what an injection of heroin feels like.
o As soon as I paid for his silence, I was a different person.
By the way, the writing/reading website Booksie sent this along recently.
Zestful Writing says thanks, Booksie users of 2017!
Characters react, respond, grow, shrink, deceive others and themselves. When you remember that every character has the power of choice, rational or not, you have everything you need to create magic on the page.
So hey, it’s a new year. We all have the power of choice as well, with its potential to create magic in the real world. How about this as a simple resolution:
I will recognize and apply my power of choice to best benefit.
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